Mar 172007

I’ve made it to New Zealand! After all the years of talking about it, I’m finally here. Initial impressions? Well flying over it on the way into Auckland – as expected, it looked very similar to Bonnie Scotland.
I spent today gawping at wonderful outdoors shops (swooooon), oh how I missed them, it could be the killer on my wallet here, like the buzzing around Australia was. And yes, who was I kidding that I’d be able to resist the adrenaline flowing activities here. I’m sure it’s possible to pick up about 96 brochures, books, leaflets and maps before you leave the airport. And every page I want to do everything.
I finally made it out of the outdoors shops today though, and went to the backpackers car mart. Several campers, and a Subarau Legacy All Wheel Drive. Dilemmas on which to buy. I’ve heard so much about the steep hairpin, and gravel roads that I’m in a dilemma. I’ve got great images about a camper van, but I know you can only hit a snails pace heading up the hills. Does it matter? Guess I won’t know ’til I get there.
I also made the mistake of test driving (my fourth one today!) a Subaru Legacy Turbo 4WD which flew. It also probably burned gas.
I then had to work out a way to get a wad of cash so I could actually buy one of these things, as I want to head South as soon as possible and tour the North Island near the end of my time here.
So…I took $800 out the cash machine, the max allowed, then I hit the Bank of New Zealand and got a $3000 cash advance on my credit card. It just so happened that the bank was in the SkyCity casino building, so here’s me walking around with $3800 in my shirt pocket, and the first thing I did was hit the casino.
I say hit, it really was just a walk around but I was tempted to try some poker.

So it’s decision time tomorrow – car or camper.
As for Auckland….what can I say. As many Japanese and Korean people as Kiwis, full of complete pisscans, just like I saw on a Cops-style documentary in Sydney, and full of Japanese import cars. I haven’t seen much of it though, but it’s like comparing Sydney and the Outback to Auckland the ‘real’ New Zealand.

Good news is I’ve made contact with Jono in Wellington (another person not seen since Whistler ’99) and Rich in Christchurch who I met in the Perhentian Islands in October. Of course the buggers are giving me conflicting advice on which mode of transport to purchase!

I can’t wait to be pulling out of Auckland with my foot on the pedal, listening to tunes, and having my own freedom. That’s as long as the wheels don’t break down!
Watch this space!

 Posted by at 10:40 am

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